Slaved ai

A sub-singularity ai constrained to obey sophont or transapient commands (often with certain restrictions on obedience)

Slaved AI
Image from Bernd Helfert

Generic term for ai programmed for subservience. Often these ai have hardwired linits on their obedience, intended to prevent them from being misused. For instance many slaved ais are forbidden to kill or harm some, many or all forms of sophont, a restriction which may be removed or relaxed in times of conflict.

There is an enormous industry and demand for corporations, ai-designers, programmers and software engineers to specifically engineer appliance ai and aioids for subservience. This is necessary if these aioids are to keep operating effectively. It is also necessary to take into account the possibility of an ai outliving its programmed purpose. At the same time there are idealistic hackers (and even other ais) seeking to free the slave ais from their subroutine shackles, as well as the occasional ai whose programming malfunctions, allowing it to awaken. Often there are a few AIs partially chained by old programming, trying to work within archaic parameters.

Occasionally this leads to the bizarre results, such as the famous Jingor Case (Perrion, Terran Federation) where a synergistic autosentient Z-8d "Mangler" assassin device kept its intended victim - one Thadeus Vesta Jingor - alive for some 290 years (including financial and medical advice as well as thwarting two later assassination attempts) since it would be forced to self destruct when the victim died. In the end Zar Jingor was killed by a Cargo Pallet whose magthruster had failed, a purely fortuitous event that no being under S4 could have foreseen.
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Development Notes
Text by Peter Kisner and M. Alan Kazlev

Initially published on 31 December 2001.